NCAA Basketball Picks: Vanderbilt vs. Texas

Jeff Grant

Monday, December 2, 2013 3:16 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 3:16 PM GMT

The Vanderbilt Commodores have been one of the best shooting teams in the country this season, but that will likely change against the Texas Longhorns Monday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this non-conference matchup at the Frank Erwin Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

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Back on the mainland

Vanderbilt finished the 2013 ezyBonds USVI Paradise Jam with a 2-1 record, with seven of the team’s nine scholarship players scoring in double figures.

The Commodores will open up a five-game homestand after this affair—before opening up Southeastern Conference play at Alabama on Jan. 7.

Don’t call it a comeback 

Texas has won its last two games after suffering its only loss of the season against BYU, as it comes off a 72-69 victory over UT Arlington as 15-point home favorites last Friday, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive affair.

The Longhorns have already tallied four second-half comeback wins this season, which could lead college basketball handicappers fading tonight’s home team in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Returning home

There’s no question that Commodores sophomore guard Eric McClellan is one of the more important players to handicap in this affair, considering he leads the team in averaging 16.8 points per game, as he prepares to play in Austin for the first time collegiately.

McClellan was a three-year letterwinner and three-year starter at Austin High School—leading his squad to a District 15-5A championship his senior season.

Taking care of business

The Longhorns have won 45 consecutive home games against unranked non-conference opponents, which fits nicely with the Commodores being 2-34 SU in their last 36 games as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points.

Texas has four players averaging double figures, while its interior defense will cause major problems for Vanderbilt’s inside players, as the team averages 7.9 blocked shots per game.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Longhorns for their college basketball picks, as they have 10 scholarship players that have scored 10-plus points in a game this season, which should lead to a win by a double-digit margin in this affair.

College Basketball Pick:  Texas Longhorns -7.5

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